This week’s Flat Chat Wrap has just about everything; pets, tradies, TV shows set in apartments and, of course, Airbnb – plenty to keep your spirits up through the Lockdown.
Before we get to Jimmy’s rant about Airbnb (Sue says he is “obsessed”), there are other issues you might want to wrap your headphones around.
For instance, did you know you can foster a pet, and that’s foster, rather than adopt, which of course you can do too.
But it seems there is a need for people who suddenly have the time and maybe the temperament to give injured, sick and recovering animals the level of TLC they might not otherwise enjoy.
Really, if you’re seeking companionship and maybe adding a little purpose that’s suddenly missing from your life, but you’re not sure if you want to make a long-term commitment, this could be anything from a trial run to a stepping stone.
It’s a win-win (unless the prospect of the emotional trauma of giving your new friend back seems worse than living alone for weeks). You’ll hear more about it on the pod and can read about it HERE.
Then we get to short-term letting agencies, their hosts and various shenanigans all of which come under the category of trying to mitigate the disastrous effects of coronavirus on the global home invasion – sorry, sorry – “sharing” business by taking advantage of the current crisis and, potentially at least, putting apartment residents’ lives at risk.
First they wanted to lure people having to self-isolate, including returned travellers, into their abandoned apartments in our homes.
Then it was people for whom working from home wasn’t an option. Then it was frontline health workers who rightly wanted to avoid the chance of carrying infections into their family homes.
As we’ve said many times, they present like a social service but behave like the corporate predators that they truly are.
Sue says our empty hotel rooms are the best possible places to house people who need or want to be isolated. Unfortunately, we’d recorded the podcast before this news came out, taking that idea even further.
By-laws: A cunning plan
The latest outrage, which even has Sue spitting computer chips, sees Airbnb sending an email from its Irish HQ telling its NSW hosts not to worry about the new laws that allow buildings to ban them because, they say, we can’t hold the meetings to do that under social distancing regulations, and we can’t have electronic or paper meetings unless we’ve already agreed that at a proper meeting in person.
What a bunch of charmers! But Jimmy has a cunning plan which he explains on the podcast; basically it involves one chairperson, a security guard and a copy of the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act, Schedule 1, Section 17 (4).
Good news for renters
Moving on, Sue has good news for renters (and not so good for landlords) with rents plummeting and availability shooting up, especially in Hobart, which just happens to be the city where the State Government offered short-term holiday letting hosts free money if they would just put their properties back in the residential rental market.
You hear more about the effects of the Lockdown on rents across Australia and read more about it HERE.
Bad news for tradies
It’s one of those unintended consequences but Sue has been working on a story about tradies who are doing it tough because strata managers, building managers, committees and individual owners are scared to allow them into their blocks in case they are carrying the virus.
So while essential works are being ignored due to a large degree of over-caution, an annual industry worth $2 billion is losing 10 per cent of business per month, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon.
Sue gives us the background to the story in the pod, by way of a preview. Keep an eye open for that one in the SMH or online in Domain.
TV series set in apartments
And finally we have a look at TV series set in flats and apartments, including one that was created by JimmyT himself.
As he explains, set in Bondi, Breakers caused a huge scandal when it arrived in the UK, slated for the wrong timeslot, it was bit too racy for afternoon TV in Britain.
If you want to look at some of the fictional apartment floorplans mentioned in the podcast, you’ll find some of them here in an article in our sister online magazine Title about the Portuguese architect/artist Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde.
Remember, these are actually TV sets (stages) so one wall wouldn’t be there in real life. Lizarralde’s own website has even more amazing and recent works which you can buy, apparently, and frame – the perfect gift for the Seinfeld fan who has everything.
In this week’s “Hey, Martha!” segment, Jimmy discovers the height of antiviral fashio, with at least one obvious drawback …
Sue views an hilarious video of a woman wrestling with an exercise machine.
Listen to the podcast here.
There’s a lot more on the podcast. Click below to listen and, if you like it, subscribe (for free).